sexbathorrorvampiresex asked: Dear Necromanswers, I could really use your help. As a witch and necromancer I just haven't been able to raise many undead hordes lately and kind of worry I may be losing my touch. It's always the same; I go to the graveyards during the blackest hour of night and call upon the forces of darkness to aid me in my workings but where usually this would yield an army of zombies ready to do my bidding the most I seem to be getting is a bit of groaning. What am I doing wrong?
I’m pleased to report that I should be able to solve all of your problems with one simple piece of advice. You see, the problem all comes down to where you’re doing your reanimation. While they seem a natural place to raise the dead, a graveyard poses a number of problems for the necromancer:
- They’re on consecrated ground, while this doesn’t stop powerful sorceries altogether, it will dampen your magical ability
- The dead have been there a while. As we all know, raising zombies/wights/ghouls/skeletons/wraiths/skellingtons/spectres requires different incantations. It’s easier when the corpses are all of a relatively uniform age.
- The damp takes its toll, meaning that any dead you do raise will have stiff joints and be resistant to too much movement.
- Strength is ever an issue for the zombie. Infused with supernatural life, they are not particularly strong. As a result, many are stuck in the coffins in which they were buried.
While there is a certain charm to doing our work in graveyards, the modern necromancer is more at home in the morgue than in the cemetery. All of the bodies in a morgue are in roughly the same state. Admittedly, this means that they’ll be best-suited to becoming zombies, but at least they’re a known quantity.
Moreover, gravediggers are notoriously wise to the advances of a trepidatious sorcerer. However, most morgue-keepers will reserve you a good anonymous corpse from time to time, if your money’s good.
Let’s not forget, you’re getting on in years now. You could do with a little more time spent in away from the bad weather. We can’t have liches out in the cold all night, conjuring and what have you. Nah, get a coffee, wait for them to die of natural causes, and then step in at your leisure.
Anonymous asked: Have you heard about the hottest new Necromancy fad? NecroNominate? You raise a notable personality, then video-selfie yourself challenging a rival Necromancer to one up you with a more high profile corpse. What do you make of it? Have you challenged or been challenged yet?
Unfortunately, I tend to miss most fads. Being such a serious necromancer, I spend most of my time cloistered in my crypt laboratory. This piqued my interest though, so much so that I decided to investigate by rummaging through the grimoires of my black library. Sadly, there was nothing to be found there, so I was forced to turn to the internet.
Fortunately, Ghoulgle suggested some results for me, so I wasn’t forced to trawl through them to find the most impressive suggestion. Along with many other necromancers, I’ve always suspected Elvis to be alive, so the challenge to raise him from the dead was an impressive one. Nothing could have prepared me for the response.
You see, only one necromancer had actually responded to the challenge. Far be it for me to accuse someone of lying, but I honestly hadn’t expected anyone to have any real proof that they had resurrected the king.
I was mightily impressed when he stated that the reason he hadn’t raised the king was because he was, in fact, the king. That’s right, the king is, to my surprise, not just dead, but undead.
The king is (un)dead.
Long live the king.
Anonymous asked: Ive always wanted to be a necormancer, but I don't know any magic. How would you about learning to raise the dead if you didn't already have a command over dark forces? What is the best way to learn to become a necromancer from scratch?
You should never let an abject lack of talent slow you down. After all, some of the biggest names in necromancy were turned away from Necropolis’ universities of the arcane.
While I attended college there was a young man there whose magical aptitude was, frankly, laughable. He would attend all the classes he could, but then spend all of his time drawing diagrams instead of runes and glyphs. He’d labour in mortuaries for hours without even the vaguest twitch of a nearby corpse.
To his credit, he did manage to leave in style. When they threw him out, he said that he’d be the best damned necromancer the world had ever seen. We laughed, of course we laughed, he had been the worst student to have ever attended, but he worked hard and in the end he made something of himself without the usual sorceries and black magics our trade has come to rely on.
That student’s name?
Fig. 1: Above left, Victor Frankenstein, above right, Frankenstein’s monster.
Anonymous asked: Recently the local village has stopped sending mobs out to my tower. Instead they've started sending "leaflets." Strange parchments asking if I want to join the "neighbourhood watch" or whether I want to participate in "community events." Only last week I went to a jumble sale to raise money for the "Army of Salvation" and the week before I went to the village Fête, And you know what? I really enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun. What in the 9 Hells is happening to me?! Is there something wrong?
It’s a good sign that local communities are finally getting over their anti-necromancy biases. Too long has the humble necromancer been forced to deal with the stigma that the living ascribe to all things dead. Rather than avoid these things, you should embrace them; after all, a necromancer is an independent businessman, a pillar of the community who practices careful recycling and keeps local morticians and gravediggers honest.
Moreover, this could be a good opportunity to get your necromantic horde out there and working again. You might as well exercise some control and see what sort of shape they’re in.
Whatever you do, make sure you get in there before the local coven. While you have a lot more to offer than them, branding is super important, and the odds are that you won’t outdo “Neighbourhood Witch.”
If anyone questions you, here is a list of reasons you are perfectly placed to offer your services:
- Zombies/skeletons/mummies need no sleep.
- Your agents have preternatural senses.
- Your agents have a constant hunger for human flesh (helps dissuade criminals!).
- Most necromancers are nocturnal anyway.
- You are sensitive to the acts of other wizards/sorcerers and can ward them off.
- As a liche, we know you’re not going to die anytime soon, so they’ll avoid the fuss of another town meeting to replace you.
- To allay their fears, you will turn over your phylactery to them so they can always trust you.*
- You will finally chase away those sexy vampires corrupting the local youth.
Welcome to the new face of Neighbourhood Watch.
*This should go without saying, but do not give them your real phylactery. Most people cannot tell any old piece of jewelery from an arcane artifact. I can’t believe I have to spell this out, but come on guys, this is Lichecraft 101.
**Incidentally, since last year they’ve added a few hells. Up-to-date necromancers now say, “What in the damned thirteen hells is happening to me?”
Anonymous asked: Hello, I've been having trouble with my undead army. I've been building it for a number of years, and I animated some intelligent ghouls to help me keep things under control. Now, though, the ghouls are attempting to unionize. They want a salary, actual beds, and anti-rotting agents applied bi-weekly. I would normally destroy the unruly ghouls, but finding intelligent undead is hard. How can I stop unionization without starting a mutiny?
When confronted by a ghoul-rabble, just remember the importance Marx placed on owning the means of production. As a necromancer, you don’t just own them; you are the means of production. If your horde is getting uppity, you can always just disenchant them. That said, good ghouls are hard to find. Fortunately, time is on your side and you have other options. Indeed, time is the great management equaliser for the successful necromancer.
Fig. 1: Ghouls don’t make a great picket line. The average man has trouble sympathising with their horrifying cause.
If your horde of assorted undead is demanding rigorous anti-decay treatments today, leave them to stew for a few days as you attend to some pressing administrative issue or other.* You’d be surprised how quickly their shambling protests shake off a few limbs, at which point they’ll be begging you to either disenchant them (the easy way out) or grant just enough energy to sustain them.
Overall, we’re not sold on the whole “intelligent ghoul” strategy. While it might seem wise at first, a ghoul’s primary drive will always be for flesh. You can get some mileage out of them in terms of directing zombies and even mummies, but they’ll still require a close eye and a lot of micromanagement.
I don’t care how hands-on you are, nobody likes a micromancer.
*Let’s face it, we’ve all been meaning to re-arrange our black library sooner or later. Now is a time to finally figure out whether you want to arrange by subject matter or alphabetically (but who can really tell how to organise across multiple runescript alphabets?). Maybe we should arrange these books by the animals whose skin they’re bound in? Where does “stygian horror” fit into that system?
Anonymous asked: I know this is a fundamental thing to know, but I've searched both the Internet and local libraries and I cannot find any advice on covering up your identity or being presentable in public after achieving lichdom. I need to know this before I take any more steps in the process
This is a question that comes up, in varying forms, a lot more often than I had expected. Sometimes, it’s with the hope of romance, others it’s for things as simple as getting around without attracting a mob.1
There are, fundamentally, three solutions to this problem. The first is to simply ensure that the places you frequent are necromancer-friendly. For example, many people meet friends and start romances in shops! This means you may no longer trawl your local Tesco for the ingredients to your fell sorceries, but realistically you should probably have been supporting your local bokor anyway.
Here is a comparison of the response you’ll get in two similar shops, one of which caters to necromancers:
Another solution is to simply cast a glamour on yourself. If you cannot cast a glamour because of a paucity of talent in the art of illusions, you may be able to employ a local witch to do so for you (witches tend to be skilled in the production of lasting glamours, owing to their natural ugliness2).
The third option is something we’ve talked about before and that we think more necromancers should be open to. In the course of your work, even before you ascend to lichdom, most necromancers will encounter some sorcerous blunder or other that will render them too inhuman for the outside world. You can remedy this by dominating the will of some lesser man.
Once you’ve found your Renfield, you can send him out into the world on your behalf.
If you have insufficient time or strength of will to dominate a man, you may avail of the upcoming NecromAnswers Rent-a-Renfield program, which we will describe at a later date.
1. Since the discovery of arcane wards to keep mould from damaging the animated corpse, mobs have been the number one cause of liche death (see also, redeath/final death). Avoiding a mob is of paramount importance.
2. Some of you will point out that this is an unfair stereotype of witches, however I will not reply to you as you are likely an ugly witch.
izziepoptarts asked: Why is it that so many people ask you questions? No offense, I just didn't expect there to be so many necromancers out there...
Well, we mostly rely on word of mouth for other necromancers to hear about us, so I spill a pint of innocents’ blood every night so that I can scrawl the ritual sigils that force the dark power to provide me with reblogs.
No dread sorcerer worth his salt would leave himself at the will of the fickle magicks of SEO and Google Adwords.
Anonymous asked: I'm really sorry if this is the wrong place to ask but I think my housemate might be a real necromancer. I only see him at night and he is often covered in dirt/earth. Last night he had a party or something and all his friends came over, but like I'm pretty sure they were all dead. What should I do if I am living with a necromancer?
For the average man, this can be a troublesome situation. Necromancers don’t make great housemates. Their constant pursuit of unearthly power can twist the dimensions of your house, and the pressing need to maintain an ever-swelling army of the undead puts serious demands on storage space. Let’s not even begin to get into the question of the smell. Unless he’s managing an exclusively skeletal army, ventilation is a serious issue.
Of course, given the fact that you’ve emailed us, I’ll be working under the assumption than you are also a necromancer, which changes things slightly.
We can assume from your question that you are a day-working, non-liche necromancer, while your cryptmate is the opposite. First, have you considered forming a cabaal?
There are also many opportunities in the black arts available only to a team of necromancers working in concert. You might also be able to:
- Raise a zombie each, have them battle to the (re)death
- Employ teams of paladins to foil one another’s plans, double cross them
- Weaken the magicks sustaining one another’s withered husks and watch as your housemate inexplicably bursts at unexpected moments
- Animate some local youths for use in skeletal hijinx
- Animate one another’s skeletons for use in youthful hijinx
- Use your extended lifespans to actually finish a game of monopoly
While many necromancers are too ambitious to work together, you would also have the considerable advantage of being able to raise one another from the dead when (inevitably) one of you is fatally wounded after some power grab.*
So go on, live the necromancer lifestyle. More power to you.
More dreadful, necromantic power.
*This presumes you can trust your housemate not to simply bail on you.
Anonymous asked: Are you more partial to corporeal undead (e.g. Zombies, skeletons, mummies, etc.) or incorporeal undead (e.g. Ghosts, spectres, wraiths, etc)?
The undead have their uses, in all their manifold manifestations. The spectral undead, while certainly very scary, don’t give you the sort of mileage you need in the physical world. Have you ever tried to move to a new dread lair using only phantasms to shift boxes? If you have, it’s a damned good thing you’re an immortal liche, because otherwise you’d have died waiting. Similarly, a zombie alone won’t be much use in a haunting.
That said, I’m going to dodge the question a bit by saying that my personal favourite kind of undead is the kind that is both corporeal and incorporeal at the same time. While these seldom occur naturally in the wild, a talented necromancer should be able to cook them up with a little ingenuity.
For those of you who can’t think of your own, here are some of my personal favourite insubstantial undead that also have a little heft to them:
- A haunted ghoul
- A poltergeist that is currently possessing a skeleton
- A zombie having an out of body experience
- The ghost of a vampire
- An astral-projecting mummy
Of course, there’s really only one correct answer to this question. A corpse kept from death by having its soul tethered to this plane by eldritch magicks and the creation of a phylactery?
Lich lifestyle… or unlifestyle. Whatever.